Summary: As pesticide traders are important sources of information about the health impacts of pesticides, a crucial understanding of their perception is necessary to guide further pesticide information dissemination efforts through this channel. To this end, a 2003 survey of 110 Bangladeshi pesticide traders was conducted with questions on the pesticides in stock, knowledge and training in pesticide use and handling, sources of information, protective measures, and health effects. A two-equation bivariate probit model was initially estimated for health impairment and trader perception with health effects as an endogenous regressor in the perception equation. Results indicate that pesticide toxicity, exposure in terms of number of years spent in the pesticide business, trader's age (experience), and the interaction between the most harmful pesticides and training received in pesticide use and handling were the significant determinants of health impairment status. Risk perception was determined by actual health impairment status, pesticide toxicity, the average number of hours spent in the shop per day, training, and the interaction term between highly toxic substances and training. The evidence suggests that the current information content may not be effective, and thus training programs should be revised with a greater emphasis on health hazards and averting behavior.
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